Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mid January Velo Weather News

Today's forecast was for morning rain showers turning to rain and snow showers this afternoon continuing through tomorrow night. The hourly forecast included a small window of reduced precipitation around mid-day, the only time even remotely likely for a bike ride. The morning was indeed showery but clouds broke a bit and I had sunshine as I took off around 1:30. Fifteen minutes later I rode in a in a driving storm of mixed rain and snow thinking how I might eke out a few miles before I am totally soaked. But at my first bailout opportunity, the rain and snow had ended so I continued north. Each time I had the chance to cut short, the weather held enough for me to stay on my route. I even got a few more sunny skies

Just after reaching my turnaround at the northern end of the Chehalis Western Trail, the (mostly) snow and rain began again but never as hard as the earlier squall and occasionally giving way to sunshine. By the time I reached home I had covered 17 miles and was looking at black sky to the west.

About 20 minutes later the weather looked like this.

Timing is everything.

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Stark Reality

Sebastian Junger speaks the truth about war:
[W]e may be disgusted by seeing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, but we remain oddly unfazed by the fact that, presumably, those same Marines just put bullets through the fighters’ chests. American troops are not blind to this irony. They are very clear about the fact that society trains them to kill, orders them to kill and then balks at anything that suggests they have dehumanized the enemy they have killed.

But of course they have dehumanized the enemy — otherwise they would have to face the enormous guilt and anguish of killing other human beings.

War is an ugly business. It makes the obscene normal. Every now and then that obscenity may intrude on the public consciousness but mostly we leave it to the soldiers.

And we wonder why they explode when they come home.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Numbers and Words

Barack Obama, 05 January 2012:
And I firmly believe, and I think the American people understand, that we can keep our military strong and our nation secure with a defense budget that continues to be larger than roughly the next 10 countries combined.

Kudos to the president for stating the obvious. Obama may be the first president ever to say "Enough" when it comes to military spending. But hedistinctly low-balls America's spending advantage. Actually, the US outspends the combined total of the next 15 countries. Ten of those countries are US allies of one sort or another.

And with all that might we still can't make the world work like we want it to. Perhaps alternatives to military force may also be useful.

Ya think?

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